Five Hope College fall student-athletes shared their insights into a semester and a season disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and how they have tried to display leadership and show gratitude during trying times.

In Part 1, the team co-captains answered the following question focused on leadership: “How have you helped lead your team this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic that required so many changes to the way you do things?”

In Part 2, they answered the following question focused on gratitude: “What is something positive you have experienced this semester that you might have not have during a ‘traditional’ season?” See their answers below.

Dominick Byrne, Men’s Soccer

Dominick Byrne poses for a portrait.
Dominick Byrne

“I have been able to go to my grandparents house every weekend for lunch and spend time with them that I would not have if we were in season. I also have been able to help my brother adapt to Hope as he is an incoming freshman.”

Abby Meder, Women’s Golf

Abby Meder poses for a portrait.
Abby Meder

“Since we are only playing with each other, I have really enjoyed spending time with my team and getting to know some of the new players really well. Outside of golf, I have enjoyed more time to work on school, go to the beach, and be with friends and family more often than is possible in a regular season.”

Adair Cutler, Volleyball

Adair Cutler poses for a portrait.
Adair Cutler

“Typically, our fall season is so busy that we don’t get to spend a ton of time off the court with teammates, but this fall I’ve been able to spend time with each of my teammates to get to know them better outside of volleyball. We get to bond in our offseason before competing together this year, which I think will benefit our team in the spring. We’ve also had the opportunity to play beach volleyball, and that’s something that I think a lot of us will continue after college.”

Jeremiah Purnell, Football

Jeremiah Purnell poses for a headshot.
Jeremiah Purnell

“During a normal season we are booked from Monday-Saturday. Because of COVID-19, our schedule is not as compact and busy. We are able to enjoy more days off. We have weekends now that we can spend relaxing and hanging out with friends while social distancing. I have been able to see my mom for a longer period of time, which is always great because I don’t see her often.”

Brooke Truszkowski, Women’s Cross Country

Brooke Truskowski poses for a portrait.

“I live with four amazing and talented basketball players, and typically our busy seasons are opposite of each other because I am typically away on the weekends in the fall and spring, and they are on the road continuing to be undefeated all winter. I have been blessed with spending more time with them and doing online classes, hikes, random ice cream runs, and just enjoying each other’s company is something that I really enjoy having more time for. I love spending time with my cross country team, but they are also my biggest support system and my team of comfort I get to live with.”

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